April 27th-28th: Take Your Time

Crew Members: Zevvy, Orit, Nechama, Zoe, Kevin

Next weekend I won’t be around, so we really crammed it in today…

Innovation

Not my favorite with 4 players, but Orit was willing to read and so picked up the concept pretty fast. I just barely grabbed the 1 and the 3  with Metalworking and Currency while Kevin got the 2 and the 4. Nechama drew a lot but lost her hand to Machinery. Orit also got Engineering and destroyed many castles. Kevin’s coin monopoly let him steal many things, but not before I snagged the 5 with pirate code. It was a tense race to the 6 but Nechama let me share Coal with her, basically handing me the win.

Isle of Skye

Zoe actually joined us for this Scottish themed game as she leaves behind her Irish heritage to join the Tribe. Scoring tiles were “Ship + Lighthouse = 3”, “1 per animal on and adjacent to farm”, “3 per 3-tile enclosed region”, and “2 per tile in largest enclosed lake. This last tile gave Orit and Nechama a lot of points, whereas I completed it only in round 5 for a smaller lake. Zoe left halfway through, leaving me as last player. Nechama caught up with Orit, but in the final round I scored a lot for my scrolls, ending up tied with Nechama at over 70, with Orit not far behind.

Power Grid

Nechama’s been wanting a re-match, this time we had Orit instead of Yehuda. She learned fast but by the end wasn’t as interested since some turns took a while…Nechama tried to stay behind the whole game to be able to get first dibs on resources and building but was unable to compete once we hit step 3. Orit relied heavily on coal and the last round coal got bought out, though she only had 16 powered buildings. Nechama still had 17 powered buldings but Kevin had 18, with the Hydrogen plant. I managed to get 19 buildings though, using oil and garbage, snagging the victory.

Machi Koro

Orit, Nechama and I played this while Kevin took a break. They both got Tuna Boats, leaving me in the dust. I bought more Red and Purple than usual, but my Business Center never went off, and Orit ended it just before Nechama would have, while I still had Radio Tower and Airport to build. Had my Tax Office activated I would have slowed them down.

Galaxy Trucker

As usual when teaching we ignore the time limit, but Orit still had trouble building her ship. Nechama built a ship with no exposed connectors, but learned that finishing first means dibs on the goodies during the adventure. If first player builds a good ship then they generally will get a lot more money than the others, but in longer adventures this is mitigated as first player loses days, yet there still being time for others to collect or overtake. We didn’t have time to finish the second adventure though.

While I still have a blast with Innovation every time, I may buy an expansion (or just shell out for the Deluxe Set), since it gets played a lot and I actually people who could handle expansion content. I do like the small box and table space though. I chose Galaxy Trucker to make an actual punishment for AP, but if players barely finish it’s not much fun for me, so I don’t mind…but maybe we should stick to un-timed tile games like Isle of Skye.

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September 8th, 2016: Surprise Endings

Crew Members: David M., Liz, Ruby, Zevvy, Nima, David T., David W.

Innovation

David helped himself to all our Leaf cards, stalling the early game. The Score Achievements were mostly divided between two players, but the other two picked up some of the Special Achievements, advancing the game to later ages. Soon points were being removed from score piles, and I was attempting a Lightbulb Victory when Quantum Theory activated Bio-Engineering, which ended the game since I had less than three leaves, making David W. the winner with the highest current score.

Isle of Skye

Liz, David W. and David T. played Isle of Skye. David W. says it’s better with four people, and apparently won handily.

7 Wonders

I don’t remember the results of the game, just that Nima had a ton of money in the end.

Werewolf

First round I was the werewolf, but sitting on the couch with two villagers my movements gave me away to David W. The next round, as the Witch I poisoned David W. for revenge, and we still caught the werewolf. The last round, David W. was silenced and villagers were dropping. My role as Lycan confused Liz when I was killed and the true werewolf still at large. In a final decisive vote, Ruby tried to explain how as the Leprechaun he deduced that David W. must be the werewolf, but it was too late, and the true werewolf David W. voted with Liz to lynch him.

August 16th, 2016: Around the World in 3 Games

Crew Members: David M., Liz, Zevvy, David W.

It had been a while since we saw David W. and it was nice to be at David and Liz’s place so Liz could join us as well.

DuCo

Liz- 81, David M. – 78, Zevvy – 72

Martin left this game here, we played the basic version–you have one card and have to match as many shapes and colors on the edges as you can. Sounds simple, but it’s like Set on steroids. Liz managed to take an early lead and though David was close behind, Liz kept her lead until the end. I wasn’t far behind either, but every point counts in this game.

Sushi Go

Liz – 41, David – 40, Zevvy – 37

Our first game, I got a lot of Dumplings early one but David and Liz got all the puddings. Liz was uncontested for Maki a couple times, and got come good Wasabi and Sashimi combos. David managed to tie her for puddings, and after point adjustment I was knocked down, and Liz came out on top.

Zevvy – 53, Liz – 42, David – 38

The second game, Liz and I took pudding in the first round and there was no more after that, leaving David with none. Though he had the most points the first round, I got over 20 points in the last round and while Liz had the most pudding, I had too much of a lead on her, since in one round all her points were from Maki.

Isle of Skye

Zevvy – 1st, Liz – 2nd, David W. – 3rd, David M. 4th

The scoring rules were Most Money, 1 point per sheep, 3 points per enclosed area of at least 3 tiles, and most Whisky. Since eveyone else was competing for Whisky since it combos well with most money, I focused on enclosed areas, which could in theory be worth more than sometimes winning the most money or Whisky. While David W. was ahead towards the end, he was denied a lot of tiles and the final scoring plus parchment bonuses pushed me into the lead with Liz in a close second. David M. had a lot of money and usually good things to sell, but was usually behind in Whisky and tiles to use to enclose areas as well.

Innovation

David M. and I played a 2 player game of Innovation before the meeting, where my Alchemy gave David a huge lead and backfired on me, though he was ahead anyway and won 5 achievements to 1. Our next game with David W. was more drawn out and we even made it to Age 10.

There was little scoring in the early game, while David W. got a huge lead in technology. Road Building was passed back and forth but once I got some level 4 scoring cards I picked up the first few achievements. David M. scored some high level cards and picked up some more achievements, while David W. got the World Achievement and continued to tech up. When I was one achievement away form winning, we all started nerfing each other’s score piles, and I decided to try for the Empire achievement of having 3 of each resource. I began Splaying Up, but David’s Quantum Theory was giving him level 10 tech already. Finally, he played Software, forcing me to play A.I. and Robotics, and activate A.I. which ends the game and makes the player with the least points win.Fortunately, these cards also filled out the resources I need, and technically I got the achievement immediately, securing victory before the hostile robot takeover.

It was nice to play a variety of games that tell stories in their own way. It was a very nice evening for everyone.

 

 

June 21st, 2016: From Riches to Rags

Crew Members: Zevvy, David M., Nima, David W.

It was so hot, but David W. brought over some new games to distract our minds.

Isle of Skye

David W. – 85, Zevvy – 84, David M. -71, Nima – 59

Scoring takes place in four categories over six rounds. Players buy and sell tiles each round to add to their clan, trying to maximize the points they will score. In the first round both Davids forgot to save money for buying land and were forced to buy their own tiles while Nima and I did business with each other. The second scoring category was “squareness”, which I had trouble with until closer to the end of the game. I think everyone managed to get at least one boat and lighthouse combination for the third scoring, worth 3 points each. But the 4th scoring was 5 points for every farm, lighthouse and tower, which David W. had been preparing for. Luckily I managed to complete a second set just in time, and ended up getting a lot of points for those rounds. David W. had a lot of oxen that weren’t being scored, but in the last round got a tile scoring points for his oxen. After counting points for leftover coins, he overtook me by one point.

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Las Vegas

David M. – Victory with $410,000

Throw your dice and try to win big, choosing a number to invest in! If you have the most of a specific number  after five rolls, you get first dibs at the cash on the associated casino. But in case of a tie, no one wins. After the first round Nima and I both had a solid lead, and I didn’t do bad in the second round either, picking up $70,000. David W. didn’t do so well so he had more fun trying to force ties so people would lose money. The addition of ‘neutral’ dice made every roll interesting and put more pressure on close matches. Despite heavy opposition (especially from Nima), David M. ended up winning a lot of money the last two rounds, bringing in victory.

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Patchwork

Zevvy – 7, David M. – 4

David M. stuck around to play a 2-player game that David W. brought. It was an interesting game where we take turns adding pieces to a quilt, trying to leave as few holes as possible…it’s a lot more fun than it sounds though. The game starts off kind of slow, but by the end we usually had more than enough buttons to buy more expensive pieces. I managed to pick up the 2×1 piece that I needed, and though David got more of the bonus patches his quilt was left with more holes at the top than mine. He did have higher button production, but bought a lot of expensive pieces near the end, so I won by three buttons.

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I think next time we need an ice-cube or swimming pool themed game.